HEPPNER, Ore.--The Heppner Unit Mule Deer Initiative Planning Committee will meet April 30 from 2-4 p.m. at the ODFW office, 54173 Hwy 74, Heppner.
The Mule Deer Initiative is a new effort by ODFW, partner sportsman organizations, land managers and others to increase mule deer. Heppner is one of five wildlife management units selected for the initial effort.
The nine-member planning committee will be reviewing and discussing their draft action plan during the meeting. The action plan includes objectives and strategies related to mule deer habitat, population and predator management; disease; disturbance and harassment on winter range; law enforcement; and public involvement and outreach.
Planning committee members include representatives from Oregon Hunters Association, Mule Deer Foundation, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Morrow County Soil Water Conservation Service, USDA Wildlife Services, a private landowner and member of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, and Oregon State Police.
Members of the public are welcome to attend to listen to the meeting. An opportunity for public comment is scheduled for 3:45 p.m.
Mule deer populations have declined across the western United States for a variety of reasons including loss of habitat, changes in land and predator management practices and other factors. Many of today’s hunters grew up hunting mule deer and want their kids and grandkids to have the same opportunities they did.
Mule deer hunting and viewing also contribute significant dollars to eastern Oregon’s economy. Last year, more than 74,000 people went deer hunting in eastern Oregon, generating an estimated $22 million for the economy.
For more information contact Steve Cherry at 541-676-5230 or Greg Jackle (541) 575-1167.